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Bobby McFerrin - Fantastic!!


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So this past Friday I took my girlfriend to The Roy Thompson Hall in Toronto for a night of unknown entertainment. Unknown to her, at least, as I kept from her what it was were going to see. Surprisingly, she didn't even notice the posters hanging about and I even had to put the 'ear muffs' on her one time as this guy walked by singing 'Don't Worry, Be Happy.'

We took our 7th row center seats and waited only a couple minutes before Bobby took the stage and, toting only a cordless microphone and a bottle of water, made his way to the cushioned conference chair sitting center stage.

He opened the night with a coom improvised piece, after which I turned to Becky and asked if she knew who were watching... it then clicked in, to much delight, who it was I had taken her to see! Smiles ensued!

It was a no-intermission show and I was worried I might get a little restless towards the end of the two hour performance. That was far from the case. Bobby broke the show up very well been happily sat through another couple hours!

Bobby performed an exceptional version of 'Blackbird' two or three songs into the show This sealed the deal for me. The phrasing was so unique, clever, and beautiful. I recommend downloading a version of Bobby's take on Blackbird and taking a listen for yourself. I had no problem grabbing a live version from Kazaa when I got home.

I must say, Bobby McFerrin is the master of crowd participation. He 'conducted' the audience several times throughout the show through a variety of vocal pieces. Often dividing the audience into two groups, designating each half a certain phrase to sing or sound to make, be it classical or traditional, the audience created a beautiful soundscape to which Bobby would provide the lead over top. The results were mesmorizing. There were defintely some top notch vocalists in the audience.

Bobby was very personable and seemed like a totally genuine man. His smile lit the entire theater. He had me folded over in laughter on at least three separate occasions.

That is all I have time to write at the moment... I'm sure Becky can add some thoughts too.

I have wanted to see Bobby McFerrin for many years now and it was great to get the chance, take the chance, and be absolutey amazed! I hope to see him perform many times again.

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I hope he treated the "Beckbacon" to his swanky rendition of the Pink Panther theme. ;)

beckbacon....bwaahaahaaa! that's brilliant! keri, glad you & becky had a good time. for the longest time "don't worry be happy" made me cringe. i caught a bobby mcferrin show on tv last winter and it was awesome. classical music, crazy solo bebop, and blackbird. what a talented guy!

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Bobby McF totally rocks my world. I'm involved in a vocal improvisation community here in Victoria and let me tell you, he's one of our heros. What a great singer!

Thanks and kudos to the man for taking vocal improv to a level never seen before. Must've been a fantastic show. I saw him on CBC once and it rocked.

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I caught a Biography on him last year and was so impressed with his talents. He's so much more than "Don't Worry Be Happy" and so much more than just a innovative vocalist. He conducts orchestras, writes classical music, teaches children and that's just scratching the surface. He's absolutely incredible.

Good on you Backbacon. You're such a sweet boy.

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[valley girl stance] okay, yeah, only like best boyfriend ever!!!


holeee fricken cows of fun!!!!!! what a neat night. :)

keri's right, i honestly didn't know what i was going to see until the show started. no mean feat, either, but thanks to keri's "earmuffs" (read: his hands suddenly clamped over my ears, while i squish my eyes shut and sing LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LAAAAA-AAAAAA!!!" really loud ;) ), and a bit of sneaky manoeuvring away from telltale clues, he managed to save the surprise bit of it to the last possible second.

and let me tell you, for someone like ME, who was all the while secretly wishing the surprise = ballet, if i'm not even the slightest, eensiest bit disappointed it isn't, well THAT'S a darn good show!

and you know, we did get to see some dancing in there after all. at one point, bobby asked for a volunteer to come up & do some interpretive dancing. well, wouldn't know you it, 40 people jumped up & stormed the stage, including a whole bunch of little kids. he broke the dancers up into groups and a few soloists. they made the full range from hilariously entertaining to truly impressive, and in addition to the dancing, it was such a great mix of bobby's talents all at once - his vocal talents, his way with kids and his great sense of humour too.

the first chunk of the show was pure, uninterrupted, blow your face off bobby bobby bobby. heck, there were times he was making two sounds with his voice at once, it was absolutely incredible! next came a more interactive bit, holy audience particiapation, and in a great sounding, non-lame-o way. i think my favourite of that bit was probably the duet he had us do with him. he (hummed? sang? made cello noises) to bach's sonata 25 (i think... i forget the number of the actual one he used, sorry!), while the sopranos in the crowd sang ave maria. it was soooo beautiful.

he also did this really neat thing where he turned the stage and the audience into a keyboard, he'd jump someplace and we'd all sing a note, then he'd jump to another spot, which would be another note, and back and forth and so on.

i have to say though, one of the most mind blowing portions of the show was when he performed the entire wizard of oz in about 5 minutes. you could tell it was being done by someone who had seen the movie himself probably hundreds of times. :D not only was he spot on for so much of it, but it was absolutely freakin' hilarious, especially since many of the parts he was imitating were not the standard, obvious ones to choose. he started that one off with a beautiful version of somewhere over the rainbow and went from there. it was absolutely incredible.

OH! OH! OH!!! and one of the BEST and most amazing parts of the night was when he announced that he had been told right before the show that this acapella group he met in montreal a few years ago, cadence, was in the audience, and if they wanted to, they could come up and sing a song. well, we all waited while they raced up there (some from the balcony), and WOW!!!!!!!! they were soooooooo good!!!!!!!! that was a total unexpected treat.

at the end of the show, he even had a pretty intimate question & answer period, and keri's right, does his smile ever light up a room. :) he had lots of great stories to share all through the show, and he put a lot of thought into the answers he gave.

bobby mcferrin = all thumbs up!!! he didn't sing don't worry be happy, but the show was so good i wasn't disappointed about not hearing don't worry be happy at ALL.

thanks so much keri! that was such an amazing show, night, surprise, awesome, everything. :)

*mwa!* you are the bestest!

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this acapella group he met in montreal a few years ago, cadence, was in the audience

Get the hell out! :o I've seen those guys! They're amazing. They actually played a tiny party in Bradford a few years back. Their voices, as well as their song selection, was outstanding. Wow! What a treat. :)

You guys are so frickin' adorable! Keri, you are awesome to do this for your lovely lady and my new "buddy". LOL Becky, you certainly are a lady who deserves to be treated like a princess. Awwww...

Oh, and I can't take credit for the "Beckbacon" handle. I do believe that is Keri's. Brilliant! :D

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